SYL stands for “See ya later”, which is supposedly the entire text of a note written by Major Hugh Fraser’s wife when she left him. But then, there’s “a rich mix of truth and fiction” about the Major still circulating in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. What seems certain is that he lived on his ranch there for many years, loved dogs, threw great parties, and was the first to plant grapes in the area. Today, See Ya Later Ranch produces wines whose labels show a dog with wings and a halo. Taking the Major’s legacy seriously, it also supports the SPCA.
“Brut”, of course, means this is a sparkling wine, which is why the cork is wired onto the bottle. It did not — quite — fly across the room when the bottle was opened.
The wine poured out gently bubbling, a very pale greenish yellow. A strong scent of yeast wafted from its surface. However, the taste was classic dry champagne with a definite citrus flavor. (SYL describes this as “reminiscent of freshly baked bread rounded out by crisp orchard fruit . . . the finish is full of citrus flavours [sic — we’re in British spelling territory] and a hint of cream.”)
“This wine was produced in the Traditional French Method,” says the SYL site, describing 30 days’ cool fermentation in stainless steel. It then spends three years in its bottle.
The company suggests pairing SYL Brut with smoked salmon or fresh seafood — we tend to think the fresh seafood is the better choice, and the milder the flavor the better. It would also go well with lightly flavored chicken, or a light, non-chocolate dessert. Another possibility is using it as a base for Mimosas.